International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC) 

Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

March-- 2020
What does it mean to be a
"Charismatic Family"?
PRESENTATION AND PROPOSAL FOR WORK
from the World Council Members

The World Council of the Marianist Family has reflected on our status as a Charismatic Family and prepared this document for review by all branches of our Family.

By means of links within this message, we send you the document on the Marianist Family from the last World Council of the Marianist Family. 

This time, the document comes with a request for specific action on the part of the members of the four branches:
  • All communities are asked to take sufficient time to discuss this document and its questionnaire.

  • All Family Councils at all levels are asked to send a synthesis of their work to Lourdes Otaegui, Secretary of the World Council, before September 2020 (lourdes.otaeguiz@gmail.com).

  • The family members who participate in these Family Councils should make sure to introduce this at the next Family Council meeting.

  • All communities or Councils who also wish to send their reflections are strongly encouraged to do so.

We believe that it is very important to grow in our consciousness and experience as a Family, so we invite you, starting from this document, to take time to reflect on your status as a Family at the National and Local levels.

It would be about becoming aware of the extent to which we live as a Family and in what areas we can still grow. On the one hand, we think it is important to reflect on the levels of local and national Family Councils, but it is also important to have the sense of the communities and of specific people of the different branches.

We think it would be good to consult with the members of the different branches so that you can learn of their feelings also.

Click to read the document:


Below you will find some questions to help you in your reflection and analysis of your situation.

1. How do you live your sense of belonging to our Family?
What family awareness do you have?

2. According to the presentation made by the document on the Charismatic Families:

- Do you identify with what has been expressed here?
- Is this element included in the formation of new members of each of the branches?

3. What things should be promoted to be faithful to the charism and to be able to adapt it?

4. “Communion between the branches serves the good of all members and strengthens the missionary impact of each and every one.” (6.a)

- Does this happen in your situation?
- What is the missionary impact of our charismatic family where you live?

5. “The Family and each of its members are attentive to the orientations received from the universal or local Church.” (6.d)

- Do we feel and live like that?
- What steps should we take?

Remember to send your Family Council and/or MLC's reflections to Lourdes Otaegui, Secretary of the World Council, before September 2020 ( lourdes.otaeguiz@gmail.com ).

IDEAS for ACTION: 

Meeting at a time of restricted
gathering numbers

The pandemic is presenting extraordinary challenges to our countries! Gathering numbers are being severely restricted. Schools and businesses are closing for weeks, even months, at a time. People are hoarding food and supplies so that store shelves are emptied as soon as they are stocked. And everybody is being asked to self-quarantine in their own homes and to practice serious "social distancing" when outside their homes!

But let's not stop "meeting" and praying together in our MLCs! Get creative! There are new free or very inexpensive virtual tools that can help groups meet and work together very efficiently.

Our US Leadership Council uses Zoom Meetings as a video conferencing tool. We meet for 80 minutes each month and have learned ways to have excellent discussions to get a lot of work done. It is free for calls of 40 minutes or less and only $15/ mo for calls longer than that. zoom.us

There is also Skype. But Zoom is easier to use because you don't really need to join, or set up a username & password. The meeting host sends everyone an invitation with a link in it. Attendees just click the link and Zoom automatically installs. It can be used on laptop, tablet, or phone.

And for those who are more technology averse, you can easily set us a conference call line. I use this for one of my MLCs because several of our members do not have reliable enough bandwidth to use Zoom. This tool is just like a phone call except everyone can be on the call at the same time. We use it monthly to discuss our Marianist reading for the month, share prayers, and carry out business. And this is absolutely free! Go to freeconferencepro.com

Readers, if you have a virtual tool you use that could be helpful in this time of "social distance" meetings, please let me know. I can share your ideas next month!

Celebrating Life!
by Marceta Reilly
Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses...He has set the right time for everything...all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. Eccl 3:1, 11,12b.
My older brother, Fr. David Fleming, SM, passed away rather suddenly this past month. He was a wonderful big brother--a mentor and spiritual guide for me. I have a younger brother as well and each of us is 7-7-1/2 years apart. David left for the high school seminary in St. Louis just before Mike was born.

Even though David and I were years apart, our career interests often intersected and we enjoyed lively conversations about politics and religion. I'd get so angry about the direction of the Institutional Church and he would recommend some course, or book, or introduce me to a Marianist who was helpful in pulling me back from the brink of leaving the Church. It was always the Marianist Family that has kept me in the Church when I thought I could no longer be welcomed.

David introduced our family to the Marianist world and we have all followed him around the world as he did God's work. I am finding it hard to be sad at his passing. So many Marianists and people he has worked with around the world have sent kind notes, prayers, and told delightful stories about David--the good, the bad, the delightful ones that touch on his essence.

On the day he died, I was there along with several of his SM community members at his bedside, praying a decade of the rosary. His labored breathing relaxed, got softer. And then you could just see him gently let go and be peacefully lifted up to God. It was the way any of us would want the end of our life to be.

So now with the pandemic hitting the US, the funeral arrangements have been quite challenging! Fr. Chris Wittmann at Dayton and Provincial Oscar Vasquez at St. Louis have met new planning obstacles everyday!. The most recent plan is to bury David in San Antonio with a very limited funeral Mass and have his "Celebration of Life" maybe later in the Fall when people can gather, tell stories, pray together, sing our favorite "send-off songs," and share a meal together where we can hug, and laugh, and cry a bit together.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to contribute to a memorial for David, I suggest the following:
  • District of India--Ministry Support
  • Send to :
  • Marianist Mission
  • PO Box 340998
  • Dayton, OH 45434-0998

This program--the REDS program--was near and dear to his heart.

And THANK YOU to everyone who has sent notes of kind thoughts and prayers to our family. It truly warms our hearts!

Marceta Reilly
Sister of David Fleming
clm.mlc.northamerica@marianistas.org

Let Us Pray...
From the World Council of the Marianist Family:

Dear brothers and sisters of the Marianist Family
 
The Coronavirus epidemic is growing worldwide, affecting the working, living and livelihood situations of a growing number of people.

As members of the Marianist Family, we want to present this intention in fervent prayer that God may support those affected, as well as the medical, social or religious persons who assist them.

We also want to associate this prayer with all those who are victims of other serious current epidemics, too often forgotten in our prayers (malaria, dengue fever, Ebola virus, ...).

We propose that all of us, personally or preferably in community, pray daily, from 19 to 25 March, a Decade of the Rosary for this purpose, with following as a suggested introduction:

Let us pray for all the people affected in their health or living conditions by the coronavirus or by other serious current epidemics. Let us pray for those who assist them.

The prayer of Pope Francis (below) can conclude the Decade of the Rosary.

Those who wish may extend this prayer beyond these dates.

In union of prayer and trust with all of you,
 
The International Team of the Marianist Lay Communities, MLC
The General Council of the Alliance Mariale, AM
The General Council of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, FMI
The General Council of the Society of Mary, SM
 
+ + + +

PRAYER OF POPE FRANCIS (11 March 2020)
 
O Mary,
You always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and hope.

We rely on you, Health of the sick.
You who, at the cross, united with Jesus’ pain, keeping steadfast your faith.
 
You know what we need and we are sure that you will provide for, as at Cana of Galilee, may joy and celebration return after this trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do what we are told by Jesus, Who has taken our suffering upon Himself and has burdened Himself with our sorrow to lead us through the cross, to the joy of resurrection. Amen.
 
Under your protection we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God.

Do not spurn the pleas of we who are in trial.

And free us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Amen.

Upcoming Marianist Feast Days

  • April 8 Birthday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

  • April 15 Blessed Damien of Molokai

  • April 28 St. Louis Mary de Montfort
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